This week on Kip&Co's Home Life Series we take a tour through the 1920’s Spanish Mission-style home of Daily Blooms founder, Courtney Ray. Located in St Kilda, this historic gem exudes character and style with its intricate tile work, stained glass windows and striking archways. From the ivy covered exterior, to every room in the home, Courtney’s love of florals and botanicals is evident.
We chat with Courtney about her journey to establish one of Australia’s most successful online florists and get her top tips on styling with fresh florals.
1. Hi Courtney! Thank you for welcoming us inside your stunning St Kilda Home. You founded Daily Blooms in 2014 which has been going from strength to strength. Can you share your journey from florist to blooming business boss?
Sure. I had a pretty unusual path to floristry. I started my career in finance working pretty crazy hours in front of an excel spreadsheet, but I knew deep down that I wanted to spend my life with flowers. Eventually, after many years of dreaming about it, I enrolled myself in a floristry course, quit my job, built the world's worst website and started Daily Blooms.
I thought it would be a little one woman business, but I quickly realised there was a massive gap in the market for beautiful, thoughtfully created bouquets that could be easily ordered online and delivered just hours later. It pretty quickly grew from a one woman business to a few gorgeous florists. And then, very slowly over time, with a whole lot of early mornings, hard work, luck and unwavering enthusiasm for beautiful blooms, we have grown from a few flower enthusiasts to a whole team of joyous bloom lovers. We have also expanded the business to deliver blooms and gifts throughout Australia.
2. You’re a mum to two under 8, what does a day in the life look like as a working mum?
Over the years, my kids have spent a lot of time in the flower warehouse chatting with florists, creating their own little arrangements and scribbling over wrapping paper. Lately, my days mostly involve dropping the kids off at school, racing to our flower warehouse, meeting our growers or buyers, speaking with our marketing or logistics teams and planning our next big event.
3. You’ve smashed some pretty serious business goals over the last few years! What have been some of the biggest challenges and biggest highlights in running your own business?
It certainly has been a big few years. I think some of the highlights have been the amazing brand partnerships we have done, including Kip&Co. I absolutely love seeing the magic that two brands can create when they get together and let their creativity go wild. I also think our team has been a highlight - we have managed to build the most incredible, kind, enthusiastic and talented team over the last few years. I am incredibly proud of that. It also happens to make it a joy to be at work!
I think the biggest challenge over the last few years has been managing the business in unprecedented times. We really didn't know what to expect going into covid or coming out of it, and it has certainly been a wild ride. I feel like I jammed 10 years of business learning into that period of time.
4. Now onto your amazing home! We’re picking up some serious Euro villa vibes. What can you tell us about the history of your home?
Oh yeah - totally! My house (very aptly named Granada) is a Spanish mission home built in the 1920s by two English brothers. One brother was an architect, the other a glacier, and the house incorporates lots of design elements from their travels. I often joke that the brothers didn't exercise much restraint with our house - they really did include ALL the features they loved.
The house is obviously very Spanish, with the arches, twisty poles and heavy clay internal walls. It is also inspired by the deco period with gorgeous windows, terrazzo and the most insane deco bathroom you've ever seen. Sometimes, especially in summer, I can almost imagine that I am in Europe rather than inner Melbourne.
5. Fresh florals are a beautiful way to bring the beauty of nature into your home. For those of us who are total flower novices, what are your top tips for keeping our blooms fresh as long as possible?
All flowers are really varied but for the most part the best way to keep your flowers blooming for longer is to keep them in a cool place, away from the hot sun or heating.
When you unwrap your blooms, it is best to give them a big snip - at least 2cm off the end of the stem and place them quickly into a clean vase with fresh water. If you can be bothered (and I know this requires so much dedication and discipline) but try to refresh the water daily. Throw out the old murky water and fill up your vessel with some clean fresh water for your flowers to drink. I promise they will thank you for that effort.
6. We’ve heard through the grapevine Daily Blooms has created a limited edition bouquet with Kip&Co, where can we get our hands on one?
Oh yes - it is so gorgeous. The most beautiful selection of blooms wrapped in your stunning tea towel. I love it. Jump on www.dailyblooms.com.au to get your hands on one of these limited edition bouquets.